Mother of boy killed in Sandy Hook shooting pays touching tribute: 'I feared today'

The mother of a 6-year-old boy who was killed in a 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook paid a touching tribute to him on Twitter this week.

Nicole Hockley's son Dylan was one of 20 children who were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut on Dec. 14, 2012. The shooting, which was one of the country's deadliest, sparked a heated debate about gun control and led to the introduction of legislation that would have banned certain types of firearms. 

On Monday, Hockley took to social media to remember him in several emotional tweets.

"Today it's been 2,474 days since Dylan was murdered at Sandy Hook," she wrote. "2,474 days since he's been gone from my life. He was only in my life for 2,473 days. I feared today. Would him being gone longer than he was here mean I would forget him?"

In a follow-up tweet, Hockley wrote that, fortunately, she still remembers her son to this day.

"His laugh, his eyes, the smell of his hair, his voice, the feel of his hand in mine?" she wrote. "I am sad today, but I no longer have fear. I have forgotten nothing. My son lives on in my heart, in my soul, in the memories of our family and friends and in the work of me and his Daddy."

"We will always love him and miss him," she concluded. "My butterfly is gone, but never forgotten, no matter how many days go by."

Since Monday, Hockley's tweets have been liked more than 30,000 times and shared 5,000 times. In the wake of her son's death, the mother co-founded Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit that teaches students and adults how to recognize signs of gun violence.

"Based in Newtown, Connecticut, our intent is to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation by providing programs and practices that protect children from gun violence," the organization's mission statement reads. "By uniting people of all beliefs and backgrounds who value the protection of children to take meaningful actions in their homes and communities, we will prevent gun violence and stop the tragic loss of life."

Sandy Hook Promise has reportedly trained more than 7.5 million adults and children and has recruited over 6,000 volunteers to raise awareness about gun violence. Hockley, who was honored by People in 2016 for activism, said she just wants "people to know that gun violence is preventable."

"I'm going to spend the rest of my life trying to save other [lives]," she said in an interview with the magazine."I don’t want any other parent to ever be in my shoes and to know their child could have lived."

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